I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share some of the things that are saving my life right now. In her post, she shares how she arrived at this idea. Isn’t it a great question to ask? What’s saving my life right now? The current season feels a bit challenging–winter, the terrible two’s, and still (even after almost a full year!) trying to find my way in our new home and my new roles. So, there is much to be said for recognizing and making space for the gifts and rituals that give me joy, grant me reprieve, and help me be more fully myself.
- Iced coffee. Yup. Still obsessed. Turns out, it doesn’t matter how cold it is outside; it is never too cold for iced coffee in the afternoon. A tall glass gives me just the boost I need to push through the late afternoon before dinnertime (which tends to be a bit rough around here). Not to mention, it’s just so delicious, guys!
- My therapy light. I felt so funny buying this, and even more uncomfortable admitting I had bought it. I don’t have Seasonal Affective Disorder, and we haven’t lived here for even a full winter. But, I wanted to be proactive about how I approached my first winter season, and after hearing from so many that these can really help ward off the winter blues, I decided to give it a go. Obviously, I don’t have a “control”, so I can’t say for sure whether having a light has improved my mood. I can say that when the timer ends and the light turns off each morning, I notice a difference in how the room feels; I like the light. More significantly, it makes me think, “I can handle the gloom today.” Having an extra tool in my arsenal gives me a little confidence boost as I attempt to embrace and not dread winter.
- Omega-3s. I’ve started taking an omega-3 supplement twice a day, and it falls into the same category as the therapy light: something that made me feel a little high-maintenance, but I’m SO glad I did. On the Sorta Awesome Podcast (also saving my life), Megan talked about how as a highly-sensitive person, an omega-3 helps her feel a little less on-edge. I wasn’t sure how much it was helping, until I went on vacation and didn’t bring any vitamins with me. Towards the end of our vacation, I looked across the hotel room at Evan and said, “I just can’t take this noise anymore.” Now that I’m at home and have started taking them again, I just feel more calm and less like I want to run into a silent dark room to hide at the end of the day.
- Wednesday night writing nights. In my attempts to figure out how to make this stay-at-home-mom gig work for me, it became clear that I needed to find a little more “me time” during the week. I’ve started taking Wednesday nights to do just that. I imagine that eventually I might use these nights for a girls’ night or shopping or whatever, but so far they’ve been writing nights. This little respite in the middle of the week is wonderful. It gives me something to look forward to if Monday or Tuesday isn’t so great, and it breaks up the monotony of the week so well.
- Podcasts. Nothing new here. Like iced coffee, I remain obsessed with these. Some new (to me) ones I’m listening to lately: What Should I Read Next?; Slate’s Audio Book Club; Masterpiece Studio; Death, Sex, & Money; and the Sacred Ordinary Days Podcast. Plus all my old stand-bys. (Is this getting out of hand? …Never!) When I’m home with the boys during the week, listening to podcasts gives me some extra grown-up (though one-sided) “conversation.”
- Pioneer Woman’s Dinnertime Cookbook. I got this for Christmas and love it. The Pioneer Woman can do no wrong, as far as I’m concerned. Her tips about meal planning and freezer foods have been super helpful to me.
- The “Hymns for Hipsters” playlist on Spotify. This is another thing I first heart about on the Sorta Awesome Podcast. It’s excellent. The playlist is long, so I just put it on shuffle and it lasts me a long time before I’m sick of it. I’m planning on keeping this playing quite a bit during Lent.
- Having something to look forward to. This is less a “thing” and more like an “idea.” One challenging aspect of being home is that most days feel pretty much the same. Having something on the calendar to look forward to helps me push through some of the monotony. Looking forward to Glennon Melton speaking at our church helped January fly by, and I am SO looking forward to Hope Spoken in March. In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin says that anticipating something makes it more enjoyable all-together, and I would have to agree.
So, that’s that: the small, simple, very good things that are infusing my days and weeks with a little more joy. Tell me: what’s saving your life these days?